Democratic Chairman to Keep Job After Controversial Comments

Democratic Chairman to Keep Job After Controversial Comments

( – The chairman of a Massachusetts organization for Democrats will keep his spot after his colleagues voted down a motion to remove him for controversial remarks about abortion and disabled children.

The Framingham Democratic Committee, a voluntary society of registered Democrats, rejected a motion to discuss removing chairman Michael Hugo at an upcoming society meeting in March. The vote was 11 in favor of the discussion and 16 against it.

At a city council meeting in Framingham this February, Hugo said infants in utero with misdiagnosed defects could lead to the birth of more disabled children, which would then financially strain school systems. After public outcry, Hugo issued an apology — 10 days later.

Anti-abortion activists were predictably the loudest critics of Hugo’s remarks. One of the most outspoken has been Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the organization Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America.

Dannenfelser said she was disappointed in the Framingham Democratic Commission for being unable to “muster up the courage to have a discussion” about whether Hugo’s remarks were appropriate or should be grounds for removal.

She called the “modern abortion movement” a philosophy rooted in eugenics, a viewpoint that advocates active measures to, in its view, improve the quality of people born. The philosophy is broadly seen as negative and immoral and is seen as hostile to childbearing by people society has deemed unworthy or deficient.

Dannenfelser released a statement on Hugo from Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America calling for his resignation. She accused him of targeting vulnerable people “for extinction” and said people with such views shouldn’t be in leadership positions.

Michael Hugo is also director of policy and government relations for the Massachusetts Association of Health Boards, a trade group that describes itself as working to support and educate the government health boards in cities and counties in the state.

Residents in and around Framingham also expressed dismay at his remarks.

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